What a lot of money

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Palfrem, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Palfrem

    Palfrem MB Enthusiast

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  2. verytalldave

    verytalldave MB Enthusiast

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    Gave it away in benefits to many dubious organisations ? ? ? ?
     
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  3. MicB

    MicB MB Enthusiast

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    Could it be that the members of society do not wholly agree with the speed limits as set and the way in which they are policed?
    Should society's rules not reflect the wishes of its membership?

    The scale of monies collected and collectible would suggest that the tail is wagging the dog.

    Mic
     
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  4. HR17

    HR17 Active Member

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    Created non-jobs for the unemployable, who are now insisting on pay rises and top notch pensions following all their years of non-work.
     
  5. clever dicky

    clever dicky Active Member

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  6. grober

    grober MB Master

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    National Statistics Online - Road Casualties
     
  7. MicB

    MicB MB Enthusiast

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    And your point is?.......a presumed correlation between speeding fines, speed limits and casualties?

    The overwhelming majority of casualties are operator error related and have absolutely nothing to do with absolute speed......the wrong speed in the wrong place is operator error and there are a multitude of factors that might determine an appropriate speed at any given location at any given time and any given conditions.
    Cameras do not address the issue and without doubt the vast majority have nothing to do with safety nor the reduction of casualties......merely another form of ''voluntary'' taxation......the evidence suggests that most drivers do not accept that the current speed limits are realistic.

    Mic
     
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  8. grober

    grober MB Master

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    There are many reasons why the casualty figures have gone down. For example there was a marked drop in serious casualties with the removal of older less safe vehicles from the roads during the scrappage allowance period. Even with the huge improvements in car safety in recent years accident survivability is still directly correlated to impact speed. Speed also places a greater strain on many car components of which perhaps brakes and tyres are of the greatest importance. I would wager that many high speed accidents are due to tyre failure or inadequacy. Part worn wrongly rated under-inflated tyres may well roll along at 40-50 mph for many miles but sticking them on a rain soaked motorway at 80-90 mph is an accident waiting to happen. Speed in itself is not intrinsically wrong or evil and describing speeding as such is not helpful in a dispassionate appraisal of the situation. However speed does impose greater demands on driver ability and the vehicle itself which all too often cannot be met. So I will stick with the general assertion that measures which reduce vehicle speed will reduce road casualties. As the late Jimmy Doohan used to say "Ye cannae change the laws of physics Captain". People should not allow the undoubted misuse of speed cameras as revenue earners to blind them to their effectiveness in many cases in reducing road casualties. It's a blunt lowest common denominator device which based on my experience of average driver ability /personality and the state of the cars they drive is a necessary evil on todays crowded roads.:dk:
     
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  9. jepho

    jepho Active Member

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    Association is not proof of causality.

    Much could be done to prevent accidents. I have no proof but consider this:

    Do we pay more attention at say... 50 mph , in a nice warm car with comfortable seats and a good sound system (in winter) or when we are travelling at 80 mph in a car that is not warm to the point of great personal comfort and without a nice sound system playing? My guess is that riding a motorcycle is better at keeping the rider alert than a nice warm car.

    What about speed and say monotony? Driving 2 seconds away from the car in front, which is doing the same thing as you and every other car caught in the 5 mile tailback at 12 mph because of congestion? Does the monotony of a motorway layout contribute to driver attention wandering, especially when sub-motorway speeds are nearly the the norm?

    Driver training for motorway driving is not a part of the current driving test because L drivers are not permitted on motorways. There is no specific instruction for dealing with poor weather or night driving. There is no regular retesting of driving skills. The roads around my area are full of potholes that average 3 inches deep! Poor road planning also leads to dangerous situations that have been planned into the road system!

    All of the above before touching upon inconsiderate drivers and excess speed. It may be fashionable to blame drivers for accidents (I know... I know... all accidents are supposedly avoidable) but the blame rests with shockingly low standards of driving that are acceptable to the DSA and no appropriate training given to L drivers for motorway driving (which many drivers must encounter if they make a journey of any distance in the UK today) or common driving conditions like night driving and bad weather.

    The net result is a large number of inexperienced drivers driving who will be driving on our network of high speed roads (and which require more skills training) with no clue as to how to keep themselves safe nor how to prevent themselves from causing accidents to other road users. It is at this point, I lament the idea that we do not need a sufficient number traffic cops, who were abandoned in favour of hidden cameras, because they could stop a person and educate them. The speed camera only punishes the person but teaches them SFA.

    Cameras do nothing to reduce motor vehicle accidents in my view... they just move the accident occurrence further along the road, to judge by the number of people who jam on their brakes when approaching a speed camera and then drive just as badly after they have passed it. :wallbash:
     
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  10. 312 Sprinter

    312 Sprinter Active Member

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    Spent it; total expenditure in 2010 495.7 billion. Of which health care is 119.5 billion, education is 32.6 billion, defence is 43.8 billion.
     
  11. ringway

    ringway MB Enthusiast

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    Absolutely bang on. :thumb:
     
  12. ringway

    ringway MB Enthusiast

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    Some valid points raised and yes, you are correct about the lack of motorway training, Jepho.

    When my son (17) passes his test in 6-8 weeks time, I'll spend many, many hours teaching him how to drive on the motorways (he has a good idea already, learn't form travelling with me).
    This will include the dreaded right-hand exit, of which there aren't many, but which cause unprepared drivers to become all-at-sea when encountered.

    My son is a very sensible 17, year old and could have passed his test months ago.
    I bought a 15, year old VW Golf for him to learn to drive in and have given him experiences that he wouldn't get with a driving instructor. These experiences include rural driving in the dark hours/bad weather, skid training (and the fun of doughnutting) in the snow and also explanations of what could happen to us, or others, in certain situations when out on the open road.

    The reason my son hasn't taken his driving test yet, (A-Levels have been a contributory factor in the delay) is that I believe novice should build up "flying hours" before being put at the mercy of todays driving conditions. The more time he spends with me at his side to guide and educate him, the better.

    There are children at the same school as my son that have passed their test, very soon after their 17th birthday. We see them hurtling around our area at such dangerous speeds, and yet some seem unable to negotiate junctions and roundabouts with any confidence.

    My son can play the piano and reached Grade 5 quite quickly (we ceased the lessons due to increased school studies) but I'll say he attained his grades because he was taught (rightly, or wrongly) how to pass the exams, but not how to play the piano. Sadly, this is the case with the driving test.

    Speed, poorly maintained vehicles, lack of experience, and people who drive too fast for the road conditions are the cause of death on the roads.
    Paying a fine for speeding or wreckless driving may well be painful and pride-denting, but if thats the deterrent that will keep more people safe, then so be it. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  13. MicB

    MicB MB Enthusiast

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    You are of course correct about the many variables that have contributed to the reduction of road traffic accidents over recent years.....at a time of ever increasing vehicle miles on our roads......a remarkable achievement......and of course if vehicles are going to collide with other vehicles and/or pedestrians the greater the impact speed the greater the ''damage''. A lot of damage can be done at seemingly low speeds and so the object of the exercise must surely be impact avoidance.
    I calculate that I have driven about 1.3 million miles since getting a full driving licence and unlike many I believe that the overwhelming majority of drivers on our roads are perfectly competent and can be relied upon to obey the rules of the road with the exception of speed limits.....nobody ONCE THEY ARE BEHIND THE WHEEL believes they are realistic in the majority of locations. I would suggest that most drivers break the speed limit on every journey they undertake. It is impossible to get the respect and co-operation of a society if the members of said society do accept and abide by the rules......the rules have to be adapted to societies expectations.
    Most speed limits could be either raised by 50% or abolished completely, some would best be retained and possibly some would best be reduced but the important thing is to get away from blanket restrictions and introduce carefully considered localised and sparingly applied restrictions that motorists should respect.
    The all round capability of new motor vehicles over recent years has improved dramatically which in turn improves the stock on our roads.....furthermore the MOT test from next year is to be much more thorough and wide reaching.
    Analyse the statistics and you will discover that very few fatalities are attributed to excessive speed alone......one thing I believe we could spend more money on is separating the need for motor vehicles and pedestrians to share the same space. Ultimately, however, the answer is a compromise between a statistically acceptable number of accidents/deaths and the need for society to function at a certain level.
    It remains my view that if most people drive above the speed limit at times when they believe they can get ''away with it'' and/or it is safe to do so then that speed limit is too low.
    Traffic speed on the M40, for example, is well in excess of 70mph (at which speed you would be obstructing the free flow of traffic), usually above 90mph in the overtaking lane, and the police are well aware of this......it is not good enough that there is an ''unofficial'' limit which may or may not be ignored by any given policeman on any given day.
    Society needs rules in which it accepts and can be policed fairly and evenhandedly.

    Mic
     
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  14. artyman

    artyman MB Enthusiast

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    Though many see speed cameras as revenue earners, every single one is within a speed limited zone, which is signposted, if you exceed the designated speed why the complaints? If limits were observed not only would fines and points be avoided the general traffic flow would probably improve as well. I agree theire is a lot of bad driving, lane discipline being the worst, perhaps we should change to driving on the right that may solve the problem.
     
  15. wemorgan

    wemorgan MB Enthusiast

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    I don't know of the link between speeding fines and accidents, but here are some reports on the link between speed and accidents:

    TRL - The relationship between speed and accidents of rural single-carriageway roads - Road User Safety - TRL Reports - Reports & Publications - Online Store

    TRL - The effects of drivers' speed on the frequency of road accidents - Traffic and Transport Planning - TRL Reports - Reports & Publications - Online Store
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Palfrem

    Palfrem MB Enthusiast

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    I wonder how much of the revenue was actually spent on improving real road safety?

    EG

    Lighting
    Road surface
    Signage
    Camber corrections
    etc.
     
  17. Scott_F

    Scott_F MB Enthusiast

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    Let us not forget that the Government was forced to act to ensure that local "safety partnerships" painted their cameras bright yellow and didn't obscure them behind bridges, trees etc. to maximise their revenue.

    And mobile cameras are time and again located on busy stretches of road were few accidents happen rather than quiet stretches where a few idiots drive at ridiculous speeds. The police would rather catch 100 people a day doing 38mph in a 30mph area than park their van somewhere where they'd catch 2 or 3 people doing 70mph in a 30mph area. It's more profitable.
     
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  18. Scott_F

    Scott_F MB Enthusiast

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    Silliest thing I've heard in ages.
     
  19. grober

    grober MB Master

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    Many and varied views have been touched on in this subject and perhaps the one that stands out is that of driver " suitability" As I said before the speed camera is a lowest common denominator device to reduce speed and road casualties. If we were to allow people to drive at higher speeds should the driving test be made more demanding? Should there be mandatory retesting? Should there be a gradation in licence with only drivers who can demonstrate much higher driving skills and psychological stability allowed to drive high powered cars? Should psychological profiling be used? Convicted of Assault/ drug possession/ house breaking/car theft /or other antisocial activity = automatic deprivation of licence ---the period to be determined by the severity of the crime? Should the ability to pay for an insurance premium be the sole criterion for initiating an insurance policy on a high powered car? Should different cars be speed rated like tyres e.g. unless your car is equipped with highly sophisticated electronics to make higher speed driving safe ---ABS , ESP , DRIVER ATTENTION AIDS, AUTOMATIC DISTANCE CONTROL [all of which could not have a defeat switch] and a 5 STAR EURO NCAP CRASH SAFETY RATING and a fully implemented service record to manufacturer standards its not permitted to drive at higher speeds? These are all contentious issues which some would say impinge on individual freedoms. However unless sophisticated licensing systems are implemented and enforced which can take into account better driver ability/stable personality and the safety features of individual car models we are all tarred with the same brush of mediocrity which is dealt with by blunt instruments such as speed cameras. :dk:
     
  20. Mr E

    Mr E MB Enthusiast

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    With a mixed system you're always going to work at a less than optimal level - look at what happened at Le Mans this year when you have drivers of very good (but different) levels of skills and experience coupled with big gaps in vehicle performance levels. In both cases it could be argued that the more skilled driver in the faster car was to blame (OK, they were driving Audis.... :devil: ).

    There is research going on in the field at the moment looking at whether the safety and driver assistance aids found in cars are actually delivering real safety benefits. Things like seatbelts, etc, seem to have had a measurable impact. Other driver aids can be misinterpreted and can result in a misplaced trust in them, resulting in drivers becoming overconfident and complacent (feeling that the car will stop me getting into trouble, will warn me of trouble, and make sure I survive unscathed if there is trouble). Driving then becomes a passive rather than an involving activity.

    A classic example is ABS brakes. Ask many drivers and they will tell you that ABS brakes means you can stop more quickly. Not true - and in some circumstances can actually increase the braking distance.

    Other research into driver ability shows that a majority drivers (especially males) have an exaggerated view of their own skill level behind the wheel. In most circumstances this doesn't make too much difference but when things go wrong they will find that they have gone beyond their limits. Also, those with lower skill levels can be intimidated by those with higher levels either as passengers or observers, and can be "pushed" into exceeding their own limits.

    I'm still amazed by the lack of observation shown by many drivers. We're lucky (or unlucky) enough to have SPECS and WATCHMAN systems under test near us. Both types have large signs to say that they are test systems and not operational. All the sites suffer from the "slam on the brakes and drive through at 10mph below the limit" reflex. If the drivers cannot see and take on board the test signs, what else are they missing? And do you want such drivers screaming around the country at 50% over current limits?

    Yes I do exceed speed limits, so I'm not perfect. But I can appreciate the reasons for them being there and am observant enough to have not been caught by a camera (they are bright yellow and publicised after all).
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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